Atlantic crossing - Heading to the Cape Verdes

Sun 5 Dec 2010 15:37

Having stocked up Nimue with all kinds of goodies and filled her tanks it water and fuel, we departed San Miguel marina, Tenerife on 1st December 2010 for Barbados – approx 2650 nm away.

However, within an hour of leaving the marina vve vvere back on the fuel pontoon.  Whilst putting up the mainsail, one of the lazy-jack lines had caught in the track on the mast and jammed when the mainsail had reached half way. On our return Nigel was sent up the mast to investigate with Michael directing below and the problem was quickly rectified.  So after a false start we left again and in fairly light winds the cruising chute was hoisted and Nimue started to ‘eat up’ the nautical miles.

Our departure was delayed by a few days, as we had to wait for a storm to pass through the Canaries and wanted to be well away before another storm hit a week later.  The usual route to the Caribbean is to head south to find the North East trade winds, which usually establish themselves this time of year around 200 miles North east of the Cape Verdes.   However, with high pressure over northern Europe, forcing incoming lows further south, the Trades have not yet been established this far north.  These lows are also bringing adverse weather to the west, so it has been necessary to take a more direct route south to the Cape Verdes where we are hoping to find the Trade winds.